Looking for ways to keep kids active this summer? The city of Los Banos is scheduling sports and Lego camps, College for Kids classes and day-camp activities providing many opportunities for young people, most starting June 18.
The city has created partnerships with Merced College Community Services, Los Banos Unified School District, Skyhawks Sports Academy, Play-Well TEKnologies and the Los Banos Boys & Girls Clubs to provide one of the best schedules of summer activities I’ve seen in years.
Activities are offered primarily at the Los Banos Community Center and the city ball fields on Seventh Street, with some sports classes at Los Banos and Pacheco high schools and Loftin Stadium.
Different classes and camps are offered for different ages during different weeks through Aug. 3. Each program involves a fee, ranging from $65 to $140 per activity. Complete schedules, with dates, ages and fees, can be found on the city of Los Banos’s website.
One of these partnerships has been around for decades, the College for Kids program of sports camps and academic classes offered through Merced College’s Los Banos Campus and Community Services since the 1970s, though for the first time since 2012. The other three partnerships are new.
Skyhawks Sports and Play-Well TEKnologies are companies that partner with communities, schools and churches to offer sports and Lego camps throughout the United States. This is the first time they’ve partnered with Los Banos.
The Boys & Girls Clubs have been active in Merced County for years, with a large facility in Merced. For the past year, the Boys & Girls organization has expressed an interest in creating an ongoing Los Banos chapter. The summer day camp is its first large-scale activity attempted in Los Banos.
College for Kids will be offering sports camps in basketball, football, soccer, tennis, volleyball and track and field for young people ages 7-16 (each sports camp has its own age range) beginning June 18. The program also offers courses to ignite young people’s imagination and creativity in art history, candy making, DIY Circuit Boards and baking/cake decorating. Each CFK camp and class costs $65.
Skyhawks offers sports programs for specific ages in soccer, baseball, flag football, basketball and volleyball – all at the Los Banos Community Center (645 7th St.) or the ball fields at 401 7th St. Fees range from $79 to $105; the first camp starts June 18.
Play-Well TEKnologies will offer Lego-inspired engineering camps for kids 6 to 11 years old July 9-13 and July 30-Aug. 3 for $140 per camper.
The Boys & Girls Club is offering a “Brain Gain Summer Camp” for kids age 6 and up. The camp began June 4 and continues through Aug. 3. Each week offers a different theme. The cost $75 per week cost includes breakfast, lunch and a snack.
The Boys & Girls Club will also offer special tech, sports, cooking and fashion camps throughout the summer with field trips to the Exploratorium, Island Water Park, Six Flags, Yosemite and the Monterey Aquarium, with an outdoor adventure camp at Camp McConnel in Livingston.
Registration can be done online through each organization.
To create a schedule for young people this broad and diverse took many hours of planning and preparation. It shows that the city is committed to finding opportunities to keep its youth active in ways that build life skills.
Parents and grandparents welcome these opportunities. Though kids yearn for the days when school is out to kick back and do nothing, after about a week of that they become restless, and so do the parents and grandparents who look after them.
Anyone interested in the programs should visit the city website, click on “Recreation” and then on “Youth Programs,” or follow the embedded links. You’ll find a schedule of programs with each of the four partners (Merced College, Skyhawks, Play-Well and the Boys and Girls Clubs) with links to online registration.
For more information, stop by the front desk of the Los Banos Community Center.
I’m glad to see such a robust program of activities for young people and hope many families in our community will take advantage of them.
John Spevak is a resident of Los Banos; he wrote this for the Los Banos Enterprise. Email email@example.com.